Student Center fee fails despite voter support

Scott Landheer and Scott Landheer

By Scott Landheer
City Times

The proposed Student Center fee failed because not enough students voted on either side of the issue to make it a valid election.

The fee would have cost students $1 per credit (up to 10 credits) per year.

In order to even be considered, 2,838 students would have had to cast their votes on April 24-26. According to Gail Rodriguez, Student Affairs assistant, 2,204 voted. Of those who voted, 1,493 voted yes and 711 voted no.

That adds up to 67.74 percent saying yes, and 32.26 percent no, which would have been enough to pass the measure had 634 more students voted and those percentages held up.

“So it makes it even more heartbreaking,” said Rodriguez.

E-mails went out to all students who have a valid e-mail address registered with the college on April 20 and again on April 24 reminding students of the special election.

Clemente Valdez, ASG media representative and current presidential candidate, said they have learned from this election and will be able to put that knowledge to good use next time around.

“I’m very proud of all of the very hard work that everyone put in,” Valdez, said of the effort to get the word out about the campaign, including working 16-hour-days for a couple of days. “You couldn’t turn a corner without seeing a Student Center flyer.”

He said he is also proud that a record number of students voted in this election and that they got the two-thirds approval they would have needed.

Next semester, when the Student Center fee is planned to go to vote again, they are going to make a few changes to get even more students out to vote.

The election will be held over five days, instead of three. Student government will also be asking faculty to take a more active role in getting students to the polls, including taking classes on “field trips” to the cafeteria to cast their votes.